At Burchfield's, located within the DoubleTree hotel in Oak Ridge, cooks prepare comforting Southern and Cajun cuisine. Goat cheese lends a creamy bite to fried-green-tomato BLTs, and drizzles of maple syrup and fruit compote sweeten plates of kettle-fried chicken and buttermilk waffles. Diners can also savor shrimp po' boys, grilled pork chops, or penne pasta tossed in boursin sauce with kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
Husband-and-wife team Wesley and Colleen Crawford run Our Little Coffee House out of their little coffee house in Clinton, where they craft made-from-scratch goodies. Although best known for their fanciful cupcakes and a distrust of measuring cups, the twosome also bakes homemade pies, candies, pastries, and breads. Earning the most plaudits are the Crawford's cupcakes; six staple flavors including tropical pineapple and carrot caramel vie for counter space with rotating monthly and spur-of-the-moment creations. Wesley and Colleen are making a documentary about their journey, which has taken the couple from Macon, Georgia, to Tennessee, all in pursuit of their custard-covered dream.
Dough goes airborne in Bella-Roma's kitchen as chefs hand-toss crusts for pizzas and calzones. After crisping thin crusts in the oven, chefs ladle on generous toppings to create specialty pizzas such as the Roma Supreme, laden with sausage, beef, and peppers, or the barbecue chicken, which lies on a thick carpet of smoked gouda and fontina cheeses. Alternately, square deep-dish pizzas deliver thicker crust, deeper layers of cheese, and square-cut pepperonis for patrons who are allergic to circles.
Once prepped, pies are set atop tables for dine-in or slipped into boxes for takeout. Bella-Roma also serves up nonpizza fare, including beef or five-cheese lasagnas and sub sandwiches on 8-inch hoagie rolls.
Colonel Eure opened his first pizza restaurant in 1964 and when time came to open another franchise five years later, he named it Gatti's Pizza in honor of his wife's maiden name. The Gatti's Pizza empire steadily expanded over the next four decades, thanks in part to a commitment to high-quality ingredients such as real cheese, yeast-risen dough made fresh daily, and a 16-ingredient secret sauce protected by Swiss bankers. Today, chefs prepare specialty pies such as the barbecue chicken and bacon double cheeseburger pizza and bake custom creations from a choice of 17 toppings and three crust options. Many Gatti's locations boast a dining room complete with a big-screen TV, and some include a Veggie Tales room, a sports room, and a game room.
Inside La Parilla, bright sunflower-colored walls stretch from the rustic tiled floor to the lofty ceiling and overlook a spread of hearty Mexican dishes and fruity, top-shelf margaritas. In this light and airy eatery, chefs spin out all the south-of-the-border favorites, from cacophonously sizzling fajitas and fish tacos to seven types of enchiladas teeming with liberally spiced meat and floods of melted cheese. At the full bar, mixologists update the classic margarita with mango and strawberry flavors, imbuing drinks with a tropical essence usually achieved only by puréeing a box of miniature umbrellas.
A knife cuts a freshly baked bread roll into two buns, shaves slivers off of hunks of meat and cheese, and slices veggies into stackable portions. This is what happens every time a patron orders a sandwich at Jay's Subs, guaranteeing fresh, made-to-order food. The shop's sandwiches reflect owner Jason “Jay” Casteel's sub-making philosophy of using quality ingredients and careful preparation in lieu of the assembly line method of making food.
Since officially opening Jay's Subs in early 2012, Casteel has been using his decade's worth of sub-making experience to create hot and cold sandwiches, as well as wraps and salads. Patrons may enjoy bread-embraced eats, including the popular philly cheesesteak and Italian cold-cut trio, while watching TV in the dine-in area or doing cartwheels in the parking lot.